Sport and recreational flying in SA

Africa is known for the blueness of its skies. And here on the southern tip of Africa, in South Africa, those skies offer an ideal opportunity to learn how to fly from world-class instructors in a wide range of awesome locations.


If you’re into paragliding or hang gliding, the sky’s the limit in South Africa!

Visitors from overseas are well catered for, and a good number of air schools offer training in other languages besides English, such as German and Portuguese.

If you’re visiting South Africa to obtain a licence, it’s a great opportunity to choose a location where you can mix in flying with exploration of a beautiful, diverse country.


43 Air School. Located at Port Alfred on the Eastern Cape coast. Offers a wide variety of courses to airline, military, corporate and self-sponsored students from around the world.

Aero Sport Western Cape Flight School offers training on all types of three axes, two axes, weight shift and gyrocopters. It is located as Fisantekraal Airfield, on the outskirts of Cape Town, and outside controlled airspace.

Airborne Aviation was founded in 1972 and is based at Benoni Brakpan Airfield, 18 kilometres south of Johannesburg International Airport. They have a fleet of eight aircraft and offer a variety of licences, including multi-engine.

Aircraft Fractional Ownership Services operates a flight training school on all levels of fixed-wing licences, using five different types of aircraft. The school is located at the Rand Airport in Germiston.

Aero Club of South Africa. South Africa’s national federation for sport and recreational aviation covers all sectors of the sport, from power flight to gliding, ballooning and modelling.

Aeronav Academy was established in 1974 and offers a comprehensive list of training courses, including for foreign students. It is based at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg.

Aircraft Homebuilders Association of South Africa. Founded in 1992 by people interested in building their own airplanes using locally available material.

Air Safety Pilot Academy operates from the Rand Airport in Germiston. They present a variety of courses and also have a pilot shop with useful aids for pilots.

Air Show South Africa. Everything you need to know about organising and attending air shows in SA.

Algoa Flight Centre. Located at Port Elizabeth Airport. Has decades of experience in training pilots, with standards on a par with the best in the world.

Alpine Aviation operates from Grand Central Airport in Midrand presents a comprehensive list of training, including PPL, CPL, and ATPL for helicopters. It is also available for charters and hangarage.

Aptrac Aviation offers private and commercial pilots’ training and operates out of Port Elizabeth airport. The fleet consists of Cessna and Piper Aircraft and a Beech Duchess.

Association of Virtual Aviation of South Africa. Deals with flight simulation and the worlds that can be created through local area networks or the internet. Participants fly in virtual airspace, for virtual airlines, and learn proper communications. To join a virtual airline, visit the Independent Airlines website.

AV8 Helicopters is based at the East London Airport and offers flying lessons covering a wide range of licences, private charters, and flights along the Wild Coast.

Aviation towards Success is based at Grand Central Airport in Midrand and offers training on three different types of helicopter. Charters are also available, as well as surveillance and vehicle tracking.

Babcock Central Flying Academy operates from the Grand Central Airport in Midrand, Gauteng. It offers all levels of pilots’ licences – SPL, PPL, CPL, ATPL – as well as simulator and helicopter training.

BAC Helicopters is based in Durban and offers training for Private Pilots and Commercial Pilots licences. Charters are also available, as well as tours, trips and rides, among other services.

Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa. Controlling body for recreational and sport ballooning in SA, and a section of the Aero Club of SA. Organises the annual South African Hot Air Balloon Championships, and offers a calendar of events.

Base 4 Aviation offers a helicopter commercial licence course on four different types of choppers. All training takes place from rom the General Aviation Area at Cape Town International Airport. Charters are also available.

Bevrick Air is situated at Kimberley Airport and offers seven-day-a-week training, from PPL to ATPL, and is also available for hire and fly, as well as charter, including cross-border flights.

Blue Chip Flight School offers a vareity of licences, for both single engine and multi- engine aircraft, and boasts a fleet of one Cessna 150 Skylark aerobatic and eight Cessna 172 Skylarks. They’re based at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria and also have aircraft available for hire and fly.

Border Aviation Club & Flight School has been around since the 1940s and is based at the East London Airport. It offers student pilot’s, private pilot’s and commercial pilot’s licence training, among others, and has a fleet of four different aircraft, as well as an AS 98 simulator.

Cape Flying Services operates out of George in the southern Cape. Twelve private pilot’s license courses are presented each year, while the professional pilot’s license (CPL) is also on offer. The fleet includes Piper, Cessna and Jabiru aircraft.

The Cape Town Flight Training Centre is based at Fisantekraal Airfield, near Cape Town. It has five full-time instructors and a fleet of eight aircraft, including a Yak-52 aerobatic trainer. The Centre offers a comprehensive list of courses for various licences.

Cape Town Flying Club was established in 2006 after the amalgamation of the Good Hope Flying Club and Cape Aero Club. It provides all forms of flying training, as well as self-fly hire. It is based at Cape Town International Airport.

Civair is based as Cape Town International Airpor and offers both helicopter and fixed wing training. In addition, charters around the Cape Town and the Peninsula are available.

Comefly Pilot Centre. Located at Virginia Airport in Durban. Offers recreational and professional pilot training, microlighting licences, as well as scenic flights for unforgettable views of the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

Disabled Aviation Association of South Africa. Empowering people to overcome their limitations through aviation. Affiliated to the Aero Club of SA.

Experimental Aircraft Association. Promotes the building, restoration and flying of home-built aircraft.

The Flight Training College, in George in the picturesque southern Cape, offers alls levels of fixed-wing and helicopter training. It also features a Piper Seneca III simulator. There are 12 personal pilot’s licences courses held each year and it is even possible to do courses part-time, although building up flying hours is difficult using this method.

Flight Training Services operates out of Grand Central Airport, in Midrand, Gauteng and offers training from private pilot’s licence to airline transport licence. They boast an impressive fleet of over 20 aircraft.

Freedom Flight School is based at the Bapsfontein Aerodrome in Ekhuruleni. It offers lessons in microlighting from instructors with over 50 years of cumulative experience.

G4 Helicopters presents helicopter training for the private pilot’s and commercial licences and operates from Margate Airport on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. It utilises six different types of helicopter.

Helicopter and Aeroplane Training and Charters operates from the V & A Waterfront and features training for helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, as well as charters to some exciting Cape destinations, including, among others, whale watching, shark cage diving, and sightseeing over the Mother City.

Helicopter Charter and Training has been in operation since 1993 and operates from Port Elizabeth Airport. They offer training for various helicopter licences, as well as charters.

Henley Air , which is based at Rand Airport in Germiston, is a family-owned helicopter charter and flight training business. They have training for private pilot’s and commercial licences and also offer charters.

Hover Dynamics is based at Grand Central Airport in Midrand, Gauteng, and at the Kimberley International Airport. They boast a big fleet of 15 helicopters and offer training for the private pilot’s licence, as well as hire and fly, and charters too.

Hover Dynamics Mpumalanga is based at the Grand Central Airport in Midrand, Johannesburg, and at the Nelspruit Airfield in Mpumalanga. They have a helicopter training school, charter services, are a registered aircraft maintenance organisation, also sell helicopters, and offer comprehensive services and advice for anything related to helicopters.

The Johannesburg School of Flying, at the Rand Airport, offers training for the private pilot’s and commercial pilot’s licences, in a fleet of Cessna 152s and 172s, while there is a Piper PA-28-181 for multi-engine conversions.

JNC Helicopters operates from Virginia Airport in Durban, and has training courses for the private pilot’s and commercial pilot’s licences. Also on offer are charters to an enticing variety of pictureque destinations, along with some other specialised services.

The Krugersdorp Flying Club is based at the Jack Taylor Airfield, two kilometres west of Krugersdorp, now known as Mogale City. The airfield has a host of fine facilities and is home to three flying schools.

Lanseria Flight Centre is based at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg and offers private pilot’s, commercial, and the airline transport pilot’s licence, as well as helicopter training on a wide variety of aircraft, 22 in total. Foreign students are also specifically catered for.

Leading Edge Flight School offers lessons in microlights or scenic trips in them in the Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa area, including over the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world.

Loutzavia is located at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria. It features a flight training division, with courses from PPL (private pilot license) to ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License) with experienced pilots. It has 20 aircraft and 15 full-time instructors.

The Lowveld Aero Club is the oldest flying club in South Africa and based at the Nelspruit Airport. Private pilot’s licence training is available, as is self-catering accommodation.

The Marula Gyro Flight School is located at the Marula Lodge in the Limpopo province and presents training in a Sycamore Gyro Plane. The flight training is a minimum of 25 hours in length, while a further operational training course of 20 hours is also available.

Madiba Bay School of Flight is based at Port Elizabeth Airport. It offers training for private pilot’s, commercial, and multi-engine licences in three Cessna 150s, a Cessna 182RG, a Piper Cherokee, and a Beechcraft Baron-58.

Majestic Air Charters and Travel operates throughout South Africa and into neighbouring countries. It provides flying safaris, including six- and nine-day packages.

National Airways Corporation carries out airline training at 43 Air School in Port Alfred. It also has an Air School at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg, while NAC Flight School at the Rand Airport specialises in advanced heilcopter training. Pilot training is also offered a Rand Airport.

The Outeniqua Flight Academy, in Plettenberg Bay, offers training for all levels of pilot’s licences on fixed-wing aircraft, with helicopter courses set to be added before the end of 2011. Accommodation facilities are available at the airfield.

Phoebus Apollo has been training pilots for over 20 years, from private pilots to airline pilots. It is based at the Rand Airport in Germiston and has a fleet consisting of a Cessna C152, three Cessna C172s, a Cessna C172RG, used for advanced training, and a Piper Aztec, used for multi-engine training.

The Pietermaritzburg Aero Club is based as Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg and offers training for the private pilot’s licence, utilising three different aircraft. The club describes itself as “an independent, non-profit organisation aimed at fostering aviation in general and at providing flying to its members at the lowest possible rates.”

Powered Flight , based at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria, offers flight training under experienced instructors. They have a simulator for a less expensive means of learning and also offer charter services.

Precision Aviation Services (PAS) operates from Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria and has a training school for helicopters, including for game capture pilots. They also undertake the maintenance, repair and sale of helicopters.

Pretoria Flying School operates from the Wonderbook Airport. They offer a wide variety of courses, including private pilot’s licence, commercial licence, and airline transport pilot’s licence. The school also features the prototype of the WX-400 Flight Navigational Procedural Trainer (FNPT II) flight simulator, which was designed by South Africans for South African flying training under South African flying conditions.

Progress Flight Academy, flying out of the Progress Aerodrome, near Port Elizabeth, utilises late model Piper Warrior and Piper Seminole aeroplanes for training for the commercial pilot’s license and the commercial pilot’s license.

Sky Raiders, located at the Rand Airport in Germiston, offers a host of licence training options, as well as plane rental. Their fleet consists of various Piper Cherokees, two Piper Arrows, a Barron 55, and, for aerobatic training, two Extra 300 Ls.

The South African Flight Training Academy is based 40 kilometres from Johannesburg, in Heidelberg. It offers all levels of pilot training and utilises a fleet of Cessna C152s and C172s as primary trainers, a Mooney for advanced single engine training, and Piper Senecas as multi-engine trainers. There is also a Simuflight full visual three-channel simulator certified to FNPT II for advanced training and instrument rating and CPL and ATP renewals.

The South African Gyroplane Society represents gyroplane pilots and enthusiasts in Southern Africa. Their website features sections on the Association, instructors, articles, events, a gallery, videos, classifieds, links, and archive and frequently asked questions.

The South African Model Aircraft Association overseas model aircraft activities in South Africa, including the safeguarding of airspace and radio frequencies. It also provides legal frequencies in South Africa, advice, guidance, dealer’s web pages, a diary of events, and much more. In addition, it offers links to a good number of websites focusing on various aspects of model aircraft.

South African Power Flying Assocation. Oversees the President’s Trophy Air Race, first held in 1937 and one of the most prestigious events on today’s aviation calendar. Affiliated to the Aero Club of SA.

Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa. Overseas sport aerobatics in the country. Affiliated to the Aero Club of SA.

Springbok Aviation Academy, in Mossel Bay, opened in 1987 and offers a wide variety of training courses. International students are catered for. Other offerings include a scenic introductory flight, hire and fly, flying safaris, and foreign crew licence validation.

Starlite Aviation offers helicopter training for commercial pilots, as well as an extensive list of other helicopter-based services. They operate out of Durban and Johannesburg.

Stellenbosch Flying Club. Flight training in the Cape Winelands, with the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range overlooking the airfield.

TH Aviation ConneXions offers aeroplane, helicopter and microlight training. They’re based between the Kruger National Park and the Drakensberg, in Mpumalanga. They also offer charters and air safaris to other southern Africa countries.

Unitas Flying school is based at the Vereeniging Airport in Gauteng. Private pilot’s and commercial licence training is on offer.

Virginia Flight School has been operating since 1989 and is the largest fixed-wing flight training organisation in KwaZulu-Natal. It is based at the Virginia Airport in Durban and offers training for the private pilot’s licence, the commercial pilots’ licence, and also for the airline transport pilot’s licence.

The Western Transvaal Flying School is based at the PC Pelser Airport in Klerksdorp and offers a full range of training courses. Hire and fly is available, as is accommodation on site.

Wings over Africa is based at Delta 200 Airfield, about half-an-hour from Cape Town. They offer National Pilots license and Private Pilots License training and have three aircraft available. Instruction is given in English, Afrikaans, German or Portuguese.

Zero Four Flight School is located in Margate, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. It offers the private pilot’s licence and commercial licence.


Aquila Microlight Safaris offers the Microlight Pilot’s Licence, as well as scenic flights. In addition, Aquila specialises in aerial photography, providing some remarkable pictures of the world as seen from above. Aquila Microlight Safaris is based at Wintervogel Airfield on a privately owned farm near Malmsbury in the Western Cape.

Ballito Microlight School is less than a 30 minute drive from Durban on the KwaZulu- Natal north coast. It offers flight training, not only for individuals, but also for companies.Fun flights along the beautiful coastline are also available.

Eagles’ Wings Microlight School is based at the Graaff-Reinet Airport in the Eastern Cape. Conditions in that part of South Africa are ideal for microlights and other aviation sports. The School offers South African Civil Aviation Authority approved training and courses are tailor-made for students, including for overseas visitors. Eagle’s Wings also offers early morning flights over the Karoo with experienced instructors.

Emoyeni Aviation Park, Guest Lodge, and Conference Centre is located near Camperdown, not far from Pietermaritzburg and easily accessible from Durban. They offer an interesting variety of adrenaline-pumping adventure activities, including micro-lighting, white-water rafting, off-road motorcycle riding, skydiving, hang-gliding, abseiling and water-skiing. Emoyeni is ideally positioned for fantastic aerial viewing of the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Flight Schools South Africa shows you where you can undergo training throughout South Africa. From airplanes to helicopters to microlights, they can steer you in the right direction.

Light Flight is conveniently based at Cato Ridge, almost midway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. On offer is microlight training in a variety of microlights with experienced instructors.

The Microlight and Light Sport Aircraft Association of South Africa is the national flying club representing all microlight pilots in South Africa. Its objectives include encouraging, developing, and promoting private and sporting microlighting. The website provides news, an events’ calendar, and categories dealing with various aspects of flying. is a popular forum where microlighters can get together and discuss a wide variety of things, including technical, training, gyro, and accident and incident reports. There are also sections for events and destinations; classifieds; and commercial, clubs, and official sections.

The Pyramid Flight School is located at the Pyramid Airfield in Barberton, Mpumalanga and offers microlight training. Either part-time or full-time courses available.

Rosslyn Microflyers has a microlight flight training school at Kroon, with four instructors, to the north west of Pretoria. They offer introductory flights to get a feel for the freedom of a microlight.

Sky Riders Flight School is one of the largest microlight training schools in South Africa and many of the instructors have earned their nationals colours in the sport. They operate the biggest microlighting airport in South Africa, called Microland, at Bapsfontein, a short distance north east of Kempton Park, where one finds the Johannesburg International Airport.

SAinfo reporter

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